Saturday, November 05, 2011

Andy Rooney by Steve Webb

In late 1983, in a funk for a lot of reasons, my anti-authoritarian streak kicked in when assigned as the Knick's TV person to get Albany Christmas memories from famous people. I truly hated that kind of story back then when others did them, and stupidly considered myself too good to do one myself. The obvious celebrities were Ted Knight, William DeVane and possibly Tim Hutton if he ever Christmasted with his grandparents. I started calling around, but thought more about taking aanother direction. I called Andy Rooney.

I wasn't really a fan. When CBS replaced Point / Counterpoint as the tag for 60 minutes, I pretty much agreed it had run its course. Jack Kilpatrick and Shana Alexander just flat weren't as interesting as Kilpatrick and Nick von Hoffman had been, and to say it had become a parody of itself ignores that Saturday Night Live beat it to the punch. The last one, if I remember, involved the "issue" of trial marriage and the two forcedly taking the opposite positions you would have expected them to. I digress. When Rooney's short essays began as its replacement, I had roughly the same attitude I had when Hee Haw replaced the Smothers Brothers comedy Hour. Carlin did the schtick better. Rooney seemed to just whine about trivialities. Another case of television news replacing content with a kind of ambiance.

Over time I realized I liked Rooney's voice because I'd known it as Harry Reasoner's voice. That when my dad was a faithful viewer of Reasoner's stint anchoring CBS's star-crossed morning newscast in the early 60s, that the persona he (and be extension I) was buying into was the affinity Reasoner had with his writer, Rooney. This made me more likely to watch Rooney's bits and read his newspaper column, but it was still way outside what I tended to enjoy in either television or op-ed commentary.

But Andy Rooney was a celebrity only because his name was identifiable. He didn’t have anything to sell and had no real stake in what I’d write. If he cared about his image, I wasn’t really aware of it. The ex-Albany person, of course, I really wanted as a Watergate junkie was E. Howard Hunt, but I’d turned up dry getting a phone number in the city I’d figured out he lived in at the time. I called Rooney at his office in CBS, calling a news dept flak first to make sure I wasn’t violating some protocoly thing.

He was perfect. No, he said. “I get asked all the time to remember something about Christmas. What was your favorite Christmas? What do you like to eat for dessert for Christmas? What’s the perfect Christmas present? I never answer any of those things.” A year earlier, I had roughly the same conversation only not about Christmas with Steve Ditko, making an obligatory attempt to see if he would break a 20-year-andd-counting silence on co-creating and drawing and writing Spider-Man for an article I was doing for the Fantaco Chronicles. Rooney was more pleasant. Ditko was more polite. This time, I pressed on. I mentioned it was Bill Dowd’s assignment, and that I wanted to fulfill it differently than simply having network TV stars. It was my impression that Bill had arranged for the edit page to run Rooney’s column, both because Bill truly loved television and because – yes – Rooney was a local made good. Mind you, I wanted to include the rejection. This was Andy Rooney being Andy Rooney, a curmugeon, a guy intent on keeping himself private except of course when he parades his junk mail and various drug store purchases in front of the camera speaking to a camera at his working desk.

He relented a little. I have no memory of what he remembered about Christmas in Albany. I would imagine, if I had had the sense at 30 to have thought to bring the possibility up, that he was telling me that for the time when his parents were living and maybe for a few years after that, Christmas in Albany was going home. I don’t think he specifically mentioned 1946, when he returned from WW2, but he might have.

I thanked him. Out of the blue, he asked, “You talking to Hunt?” Man, I’d love to, but I’ve had no luck finding him. I mentioned calling the south Florida city’s directory assistance. The conversation ended.

About 20 minutes later, someone at the city desk called across the room – entertainment was at the opposite corner of the newsroom – “Webb? You at 5488? Call for you.” I said I was. A few seconds later my extension rang. The voice didn’t identify itself, but it was clearly Andy Rooney. “There’s as an ear, nose and throat specialist named Theodore Brandow with an office on Madison. If you call him in five minutes, he will give you Hunt’s unlisted number.” Click.

It turns out that Andy Rooney, Teddy Brandow and Howard Hunt were pretty much like James, Sirius and Remus as students at the Albany Academy. Thick as thieves, a touch on the mischievous side. Brandow described some of this, and told me a trick: Get your unlisted number in your wife’s maiden name and the operator won’t even confirm you have an unlisted number. Good trick for keeping people unaware of even what city you live in. Spies, and of course Hunt had spent 22 years in the CIA before going to work for Nixon, do this all the time.

Anyway, Hunt was great too. It was one of my favorite interviews from doing personality features. He very much focused on 1946, on spending the previous two years doing OSS work on the China mainland when Christmas meant nothing and dinner meant some rice and if you were lucky a shoe. And what a pleasure it was to see the pristine snow. He said pristine, yes. And to put on black tie and have dinner at the Fort Orange club. He described a couple of aromas as a novelist would, and of course Hunt wrote a bunch of novels.

Anyway, Rooney brought that about and it was a nice thing to do. He clearly guarded that he was a very nice person, and I’m sure he wasn’t always very nice. He clearly had the same capacity for being rude to strangers as his one-time colleague in CBS’s record division, Bob Dylan, had when he interrupted someone who said “You don’t know me but” to him with “Let’s keep it that way.” Not only, though, was that a nice thing to do, but it also spawned two stories – the one that ran Christmas eve 1983 in the Knick and this one.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

The Electric Norseman by J.A. Fludd

‘Cross the Rainbow Bridge of Asgard,
Where the blooming heavens roar,
You’ll behold in breathless wonder
The God of Thunder, Mighty Thor!

-Theme lyrics from The Mighty Thor on The Marvel Super-Heroes, 1967.

In my fan life, one of the comic books that has brought me the greatest inspiration and pleasure is The Mighty Thor, created in 1962 by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby and originally running in Journey Into Mystery until that book was retitled for its starring character. Thor is a character with whom some of the best stories you’ll ever read in comics have been done. I get the same flush of excitement remembering them as I get from Stan and Jack’s Fantastic Four.

The length of issues #114 to #136 (in the middle of which the title switch from Journey Into Mystery to Thor took place) is collectively one of my all-time favorite stories. A long narrative made up of many individual adventures, it is about how mighty Thor wants nothing more than to be with Jane Foster, the nurse who works for his mortal alter ego, Dr. Don Blake, and pretty much everything in the universe comes between them, starting with Thor’s father, Odin. (“No son of mine is going to be sleeping with any mortal women. Maybe the Greek gods carry on like that...”) Thor and Jane must get through the Absorbing Man, Loki, the Trial of the Gods, the Norn Stone-empowered Demon, Hercules, Pluto and the Netherworld, Tana Nile and the Colonizers of Rigel, Ego the Living Planet, the High Evolutionary and the New-Men, and the maddening menace of the Man-Beast before Odin finally says, “Okay, son, bring the chick home and let’s see what kind of goddess she’ll make.” (Not in those words, of course.) Thor brings Jane to Asgard, and Jane, being a pre-feminist comic book woman, can’t handle godhood at all and must be sent back to Earth with amnesia, to marry a mortal doctor not unlike Don Blake. Thor is anguished, but Odin says, “Listen, son, suck it up. We’ve got the Trolls about to invade us, so think with your other hammer for a change and go out and defend the Realm.” He does, and along the way meets up with his boyhood sweetheart, the stunning Sif (Stan, who liked wordplay, adjectives, and alliteration, would sometimes use the epithet “stunning” in reference to Sif)--a fearless warrior goddess who was not only easy on the eyes but could probably have beaten up Xena herself. Sif, a much more suitable mate for Thor, became the “official” girlfriend of the book and has mostly remained so ever since.

It wasn’t so long ago that Thor, who had been the pride of Marvel Comics, fell on hard times. Fans were ignoring him. His stories grew tedious. His book was cancelled and revived. Fans ignored him again and his book was cancelled again. In Avengers/JLA, the breathtaking miniseries in which the Avengers met, battled, and teamed up with DC’s Justice League of America, Superman--who is known to be unable to overcome magic--was permitted to push back Thor’s hammer (which is enchanted by no less than a mythological godhead)--and punch him out! And when the US Post Office issued a set of stamps commemorating the heroes of Marvel Comics, Thor was not among them. Spider-Woman and Elektra were immortalized on stamps, but not the immortal of Asgard who is among the characters who built the company! The Fantastic Four, Spider-Man, Captain America, Iron Man, Sub-Mariner, the Hulk, even the damn Wolverine got stamps, but not the God of Thunder! I found that insulting: Spider-Woman and Elektra, for crying out loud, but not Thor! What a burn! What a rip-off!

Lately, no doubt because of the movie just released a couple of days ago, Thor has experienced one of the biggest turnarounds ever seen in comics. Not long ago I went on my weekly trip to the comic shop and counted off every comic book I could see that either starred or featured old Goldilocks. My tally came to about a dozen; Thor is everywhere! His current series--in which the hammer tosser and his entire cast have been redesigned and Asgard now floats over a plain in Oklahoma instead of lying at the far end of Bifrost, the Rainbow Bridge--is a best-seller. Thor books are all over the shelves. The God of Thunder, so recently ignored and disrespected in spite of his place in comics history, is getting back what’s his, and it’s a gratifying thing to see.

Which brings us to the movie. Wow--what a movie. Thor is just about everything that all the Superman movies should have been. Seriously.

Director Kenneth Branagh may have a background in Shakespeare, but you’d think he was channeling the spirit of Jack Kirby himself to make this picture. Not that it’s a direct adaptation of the original comics (that was never going to happen, so I’m not even going to bother kvetching about it), but the pure feeling of what Jack did with Stan is there. Much has been changed. This did not occur to me until I was actually sitting in the cinema watching the first act of the film, but a key character is completely missing and not even mentioned at all. Where in the heck is Balder? I can’t believe they would leave him out; Balder is Thor’s best friend, the person or god that Thor trusts the most. The handsomest and most noble of the gods after the Son of Odin (Jack Kirby made him so sexy that evil Karnilla, Queen of the Norns, spent a years-long subplot trying to get Balder into bed), Balder is one of Marvel’s most stalwart supporting players. He doesn’t seem to exist in this movie. It wound up not detracting from the film overall, but I missed him. A lot.

Other things are different too. Jane Foster here is not a nurse and is no part of the medical profession at all, though her ex-lover who figures tangentially into the story turns out to be (wait for it) a physician named Donald Blake. (In the comics, Jane eventually grew a backbone and became an MD. At one time she was even the on-call physician for the Avengers!) This Jane is an astrophysicist who studies wormholes and is thus better prepared to deal with hunks who come falling off Rainbow Bridges than Stan and Jack’s character was. Though we’re missing Balder, Thor’s entourage of other gods is present. The stunning Sif and Fandral the Dashing are much as we know them from the comic books. The voluminous Volstagg has most of the mirth but not quite as much girth as in the source material. But in what I’m sure is a nod to multiculturalism and marketing, Heimdall, the Guardian of Bifrost, is black and Hogun the Grim is a beardless Asian! Yes, a race of gods worshipped by the thoroughly white Vikings somehow includes an African and an Asian! (You could probably argue that these are not the gods that the Vikings worshipped but the beings whom the Vikings apprehended as gods, so they didn’t really all have to be white. Being a classic Marvel Comics purist, I could go into a rant about this, but some of you have heard or read my rants and I won’t put you through another; besides, I like this movie too much to get angry about it. It bothers me, but not to the point of anger.)

Bifrost in the movie is pretty dazzling, but is not exactly a “Rainbow” Bridge. On close inspection it seems to be made up of billions of little rainbows, laid out like gleaming brick and mortar, which was an interesting choice, to say the least. As for the way this Rainbow Bridge works, it’s a part of the movie that seems pretty familiar if you’ve ever seen a certain science fiction movie and TV franchise. Let’s just say that whenever they were using Bifrost I kept expecting Richard Dean Anderson and Michael Shanks to show up. They didn’t, but I would not have been surprised.

Oh, and you have to pay close attention to the scenes in the New Mexico town where much of the terrestrial business of the film takes place. There’s a travel billboard that carries the slogan, “Journey Into Mystery.” No kidding, watch for this.

Now, as for the principals of our story, there’s Jane, played by lovely Natalie Portman, making her second claim on a big-budget imaginative movie franchise. (To Star Wars fans she is, of course, the dauntless but doomed Padme Amidala, beloved of Anakin Skywalker and mother of Luke Skywalker and Leia Organa.) And then there are the big three: Odin, Loki, and mighty Thor himself. I’ve seldom seen a more eminently watchable trio in any film. This is especially true of Chris Hemsworth as Thor, but I’ll come to him in a moment.

The film’s Loki is very different from the character that Stan and Jack originated in the comics. For one thing, as played by Tom Hiddleston, he is vastly better looking than the actual comics character. You know the old saying, from another mythology, that “the Devil has the power to assume a pleasing shape?” That’s Hiddleston as Loki. He’s also not as demonstratively evil as the comics character. He’s much more subtle and manipulative, maneuvering people (starting with his brother Thor) into doing what he wants by speaking softly and saying exactly the right thing at the right time, not unlike the mythical Serpent in Eden. That makes it much more effective when his true evil does come exploding out, when he discovers the truth about his parentage (parents, always level with your adopted children) and he turns on Odin, steals the throne, and becomes a physical adversary for Thor. In the comic books I never really felt any sympathy for Loki, who seemed driven purely by envy (“Dad likes you best!”) and the desire for power. In the film, I actually did pick up on his feelings of hurt and betrayal by his loved ones. This is written, and Hiddleston plays it, with great skill, and helps make Loki one of the most satisfying comics-to-movies bad guys.

Anthony Hopkins plays Odin the All-Father, and makes the perfect regal presence (there’s that Shakespearean background working.) He juggles Odin’s three roles--father, king, and omnipotent deity--pretty much effortlessly and is convincing at all of them. HIs love of his two boys, his wrath and disappointment when Thor screws up and Odin de-powers him and exiles him on Earth (right out of the comics), his heartbreak over Loki, all are spot-on. And in yet another nod to the comics, his sorrow about Loki even sends him into the Odinsleep! (Every so often, the comic-book Odin has to take a long, deep nap to replenish his power. The Odinsleep is never, ever good news; you just know that whenever the All-Father goes for his forty winks, Loki will take over Asgard, someone will turn on the Destroyer, someone will let Mangog out, or some other calamity will befall. One story I’ve always wanted to see in the comics is Odin going to sleep and nothing happening! But I’m not holding my breath.)

And finally, there’s the star of our show. Ye gods, is Chris Hemsworth perfect in this role or what? My brother has expressed skepticism about the incredibly hot and strapping young Aussie playing Goldliocks, but I expect Chris Hemsworth to win him over the way Robert Downey Jr. did as Iron Man. You know, Marvel spotted Hemsworth a couple of years ago playing James T. Kirk’s father in the rebooted J.J. Abrams Star Trek movie and immediately collared him for the role of Thor, which was one of their smartest moves. He inhabits this character as Christopher Reeve did Superman. To this point I counted Chris Evans playing the Human Torch in The Fantastic Four as the all-time sexiest movie super-hero, but this summer he has some major competition from Chris Hemsworth as Thor and Ryan Reynolds as the Green Lantern. (Of course, in couple of months we’ll see the formerly “Fantastic” Evans as his second Marvel hero, Captain America, for which this film has a trailer. I’m looking forward to that.)

And it’s not just that young Hemsworth has the right look; his actual performance serves the story to great effect. He is as subtle in his own way as Hiddleston at taking Thor from a brash and conceited character whose actions threaten the realm with war, to someone just as proud but more thoughtful and capable of nobility and sacrifice. He captures Thor’s godly appetites for food, drink, and battle, his gullibility with Loki, his arrogance with the Frost Giants, his remorse over what he thinks is Odin’s death and his part in it, and his growing compassion for mortals and tenderness for Jane, hitting just the right note with each one. Hemsworth’s Thor is every bit the equal of Tobey Maguire’s Spider-Man, Chris Evans’s Torch, and Downey Jr.’s Iron Man. The hammer hits true.

While the cinematography in some parts of the movie is a bit too dark and makes the action slightly difficult to follow (especially in the sequences in Jotunheim, the land of the Frost Giants), the set designs and costuming are Oscar-worthy. The Academy will probably snub them, but they’re that good.

One more impressive thing about the film is the menace of the Destroyer, set loose on Earth by Loki to seal the doom of Thor and his friends. For non-comic-book or non-Marvel readers, do you remember the original movie The Day the Earth Stood Still from 1951? The Destroyer is a kind of “Gort” that Odin built to defend Earth against an unnamed future menace. After Stan and Jack parted ways, some years later other talents revealed that the Destroyer was meant to battle the planet-judging Fourth Host of the Celestials from a later Kirby creation, The Eternals. See how all Marvel stories link up? The Destroyer is as awesome and as fearsome as we’d like him to be. I’ll never forget the first time Goldilocks mixed it up with this armored golem; the Destroyer sliced Mjolnir the hammer in two and almost disintegrated Thor! (Issues #119 and #120. This was also the first Odinsleep story--see what I mean?) Odin’s metal monster brings that same deadliness to our film. However, I do have to agree with my friend Martin in Scotland, who points out that the showdown between Thor and the Destroyer is over far too quickly and Thor’s victory is far too facile. I remember another story in which the Destroyer actually lived up to its name and sent our Thunder God to Hela, Goddess of Death! (Thor Vol. 2, #1-3.) The studio may have thought a proper battle with the Destroyer would make the picture too long, but how long is too long with a threat of this magnitude?
Anyway, the absence of Balder and a too-facile smackdown with the Destroyer are the only things holding this picture back from shooting past the first Iron Man film on the Super-Hero Movie Scale. As it is, Thor is probably better than Iron Man 2 and almost as good as Iron Man 1, which makes it one of the very best super-hero movies. And it is in fact the only super-hero movie to date that has left me with the feeling of absolute awe and wonder that so moved and inspired me as a young fan reading the original, classic Marvel comics, which puts it in a class by itself. I look forward to seeing Thor again in The Avengers, but I’m also “breathless,” as the old theme song put it, for another movie just about Thor. I propose an adaptation of the “Thor vs. Hercules” saga from issues #125 to #128! I’d love to see whom they’d cast as Marvel’s Hercules!
I’m still fuming over the whole postage-stamp thing, but I’m so proud of Thor’s mighty comeback and what’s been accomplished with the God of Thunder. Definitely sign me up for the next trip over the Rainbow Bridge. Thor rules!
Don't know why I didn't see this coming...

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Thursday, March 03, 2011

How to be gracious

Jennifer's wedding day was fast approaching. Nothing could dampen her excitement - not even her parent's nasty divorce.

Her mother had found the PERFECT dress to wear, and would be the best-dressed mother-of-the-bride ever!

A week later, Jennifer was horrified to learn that her father's new, young wife had bought the exact same dress as her mother! Jennifer asked her father's new young wife to exchange it, but she refused. "Absolutely not! I look like a million bucks in this dress, and I'm wearing it," she replied.

Jennifer told her mother who graciously said, "Never mind sweetheart. I'll get another dress. After all, it's your special day."

A few days later, they went shopping, and did find another gorgeous dress for her mother. When they stopped for lunch, Jennifer asked her mother, "Aren't you going to return the other dress? You really don't have another occasion where you could wear it."

Her mother just smiled and replied, "Of course I do, dear.....I'm wearing it to the rehearsal dinner the night BEFORE the wedding."

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Wipeout - Food Fight

Aired on Tuesday, Sep 07, 2010

00:00:00 The hang of it.
00:00:02 U're doing gr--i mean, you're terrible at it.
00:00:05 Keep talking.
00:00:07 ..
00:00:07 today 24 men and women will b tackle the biggest obstacle course ever assembled, and one of them will walk away $50,000 richer.
00:00:16 And the first step in the journey to the cash is the "wipeout" qualifier.
00:00:19 This week they begin by facing the hoop run.
00:00:20 Welcome to our 4-ring circus.
00:00:23 They will spar with the sucker punch wall.
00:00:24 " and it wouldn't be a qualifier without the big balls and the motivar.
00:00:30 They're moving, john, now with 100% more unfairness.
00:00:33 Then they'll shimmy on to our shake-a-lator.
00:00:35 Get over those velvet ropes or get bounced, my friend.
00:00:38 And finally there's the shape-shifter.
00:00:38 Circles, squares and triangles-- it's educational.
00:00:42 Of our 24 competitors, only the top 12 times will move past the qualifier and into the second round.
00:00:47 All right, let's get down to the action.
00:00:49 ♪ Doo-doo-doo-doo-doo-doo-doo, ♪
00:00:52 hey, who's the fourth member of the lollipop guild?
00:00:53 That's eli gurian, and jill wagner's on the story.
00:00:57 What do you do, eli?
00:00:58 I study geology and seismology.
00:01:01 Oh, so you like-- you like dirt and rocks.
00:01:03 Mostly rocks.
00:01:03 This year we don't have the big balls.
00:01:06 We have four big rocks.
00:01:07 Are you serious?
00:01:08 Yep.
00:01:09 Dude, this is, like, the greatest thing I've ever seen ever.
00:01:11 (laughs) (voice speeds up) I don't even know what to do.
00:01:13 And there's also alligators.
00:01:16 (normal voice) That's not good.
00:01:18 (air horn blows) (John H.) WOW. (laughs) He believed we had rocks for big balls.
00:01:21 Whoo!
00:01:22 can't wait until he gets to the alligators.
00:01:25 (John A.) OUR ROCK STAR IS UP TO The first obstacle--the hoops.
00:01:27 All he has to do is jump through a few hoops without faing into the mud.
00:01:30 (grunts) AAH!
00:01:32 Oh, eli going for a quick spin, but makes it back to his feet.
00:01:33 Aah!
00:01:36 Ooh!
00:01:36 H!
00:01:37 Eli, you're rockin' this course.
00:01:38 (bell dings) Geology puns? I wanna play!
00:01:40 I wanna play!
00:01:41 Hey, let's see if eli gets rocked on the sucker punch.
00:01:42 That's the exact same pun.
00:01:46 So?
00:01:46 Ooh!
00:01:48 Ooh!
00:01:48 eli just got rocked by the exact same glove. look.
00:01:51 ..
00:01:51 Ooh!
00:01:53 In 3-d.
00:01:53 Nice, johnny.
00:01:55 Eli's coming to the big balls.
00:01:55 You know what they say.
00:01:59 The bigger they are, the harder they fall!
00:02:01 (grunts) AAH!
00:02:01 Ooh!
00:02:03 And the quicker they sink.
00:02:05 Don't they say "rolling stones gather no moss"?
00:02:07 Ooh! yeah.
00:02:07 yeah, but it looks like this one's picking up some algae.
00:02:10 Well, our rock star, making his way to the shake-a-lator.
00:02:13 This is gonna suck.
00:02:14 It's not gonna suck.
00:02:14 It's gonna be awesome.
00:02:16 And we've added these velvet ropes that you jump over as you cross to the other side.
00:02:20 (grunts) Ah!
00:02:22 yeah, you were totally right. that sucked.
00:02:25 Aah!
00:02:25 the shake-a-lator getting the rock star and the stones.
00:02:28 (grunts) Let's see if he gets any better on the shape-shifter.
00:02:32 He'll have to jumpff that diving board, through one of the shapes and on to the final platform.
00:02:36 If he wipes out, it's a cold swim to this secondary finish spot.
00:02:39 I love diving boards.
00:02:41 Oh! diving boards love you.
00:02:43 And I love giant spinning wheels with geometrical shapes cut in them.
00:02:46 Eli's made it into the triangle and now just sort of needs to wheel back around and jump on to the-- aah!
00:02:53 Oh!
00:02:53 Oh! so close.
00:02:54 Rockin' it! just rockin'.
00:02:55 Rock star clashes with the shape-shifter, and it rocks his casbah.
00:02:58 Aah!
00:02:59 But our rock star does have a very nice opening time.
00:03:00 (panting) ..
00:03:05 Let's go back to the first obstacle, where fresh as a muddy spring morning is 21-year-old amber bronder.
00:03:09 Oh!
00:03:10 Aah!
00:03:11 she tries the sit-and-spin approach. surpse!
00:03:12 Aah!
00:03:13 Oh!
00:03:13 John, amber definitely did not see that coming.
00:03:17 Amber actually had a surprise for jill as well earlier.
00:03:19 And I did not see that coming.
00:03:20 So do you think rthis is intimidating the other competitors?
00:03:23 Absolutely.
00:03:25 Are you hurting right now?
00:03:25 No.
00:03:26 You're making me hurt.
00:03:27 (chuckles) I'M SORRY.
00:03:29 (John H.) IT'S MAKING You hurt, jill?
00:03:30 I pulled my groin just watching it.
00:03:31 Oh, my god! are you serious?
00:03:33 (grunts) Oh, I'm serious.
00:03:34 It's club henson this week.
00:03:36 Our shake-a-lator is the bouncer, and you gotta get over the velvet ropes if you wanna get in.
00:03:40 Aah!
00:03:42 But trust me, it's worth it, ..
00:03:43 Ooh!
00:03:45 Ladies drink free.
00:03:45 Aah! aah! aah!
00:03:48 I sure hope ..
00:03:50 Aah!
00:03:50 Because that hit was hard.
00:03:52 Now coming up on the shape-sifter, that's kimberly dreher.
00:03:54 Hey, you know what, john?
00:03:54 It looks like she's a vegan.
00:03:56 Really? how can you tell?
00:03:57 Oh, I can spot a vegan from anywhere.
00:03:59 Wow. good eyes.
00:03:59 I think it's all the carrots I eat.
00:04:03 Aah! this is scary.
00:04:05 Come on. it's not scary.
00:04:07 Fakin' bacon is scary.
00:04:07 This is just mildly amusing.
00:04:11 (sighs) Come on, vegan, don't be a chicken.
00:04:14 Johnny, don't egg her on.
00:04:14 Hey, that was a good yolk.
00:04:17 Oh!
00:04:17 Oh!
00:04:18 That was even better.
00:04:18 Luckily for our vegan, our padding is made out of soy and tofu.
00:04:23 It looks like real padding, but it tastes like real beef.
00:04:27 (grunts) Now let's go back to the top of the course.
00:04:28 Aah!
00:04:32 Aah!
00:04:34 Is it over yet?
00:04:34 (air horn blows) Is it over yet? heck, no.
00:04:36 We're just getting started.
00:04:36 Check out lifeguard tiffany garcia, heading towards the hoops.
00:04:40 Aah!
00:04:41 (John A. and John H.) OOH!
00:04:42 Ooh!ay,chihuahua.
00:04:44 Let's see how tiffany fares on the second half of the hoops.
00:04:46 Here she goes.
00:04:46 Aah!
00:04:47 Oh! she's back.
00:04:48 (laughs) YEAH, SHE MUST Really be having fun if she wants to do it again.
00:04:51 These hoops are no day at the beach.
00:04:54 Aah!
00:04:55 Ooh!
00:04:55 Let's see our lifeguard wipeout in "baywatch" super slo-mo.
00:04:56 Take a look.
00:04:56 Vit's a big hit here, and even bigger in repeats.
00:05:01 People have been taking shots at our hoops all day, johnny.
00:05:04 Aah!
00:05:05 (woman grunts) Ooh! ridonkulous!
00:05:08 Aah!
00:05:08 Not in my house.
00:05:10 Aah!
00:05:10 Yes!
00:05:12 Aah! oh!
00:05:12 Air ball!
00:05:15 Alley-oops!
00:05:15 Aah!
00:05:16 Yes! and it counts!
00:05:17 (grunts) AAH!
00:05:20 Aah!
00:05:20 Dipsy-doo dunkaroo, baby!
00:05:23 Jill, who's next?
00:05:24 I'm down here with jesse carrion.
00:05:26 You're a dad, right?
00:05:26 That's correct.
00:05:27 I have four children, and my fiancée also has ..
00:05:30 Oh, wow.
00:05:32 "Therady bunch" plus what, one, two?
00:05:34 (John H.) "BRADY BUNCH"?
00:05:34 " anderson, I've got this one.
00:05:38 brady, here's a story about a wall named sucker punch who's been bringing down some very lovely contestants.
00:05:42 Ooh!
00:05:43 jesse gets brady-punched, but keeps on going.
00:05:44 Oh! his nose!
00:05:48 Jesse takes a glove to the face like marcia took a football to the nose.
00:05:51 somebody's watched " founding father of the florence henderson fan club, my friend. oh!
00:05:56 jesse's made it onto the second big ball.
00:06:00 And he's off the second big ball.
00:06:02 And just like greg in hawaii, jesse surfs the second ball and wipes out.
00:06:06 I'm telling ya, never should have taken that evil tiki idol from bobby.
00:06:10 (voice cracking) AND IT'S Time to change obstacles.
00:06:11 Oh!
00:06:12 your voice is cracking like peter brady's.
00:06:16 My voice is cracking?
00:06:17 Oh! cracka-lacka!
00:06:19 Jesse getting manhandled by the shake-a-lator, but he crawls to that second set of ropes.
00:06:23 Aah!
00:06:25 Hey! brady crunched!
00:06:25 (voice continues cracking) Another hard hit on jesse.
00:06:29 Maybe it's time to change tactics.
00:06:31 I think that's a good idea, john, and he's doing it now, going over on his back instead of his stomach.
00:06:36 That's--that's interesting.
00:06:39 Let's see how jesse handles the end of the shake-a-lator.
00:06:40 Oh!
00:06:41 Oh!
00:06:42 (normal voice) OH!
00:06:42 A very brady wipeout indeed!
00:06:44 I love the shake-a-lator.
00:06:46 Mm, mike brady himself couldn't have designed it any better.
00:06:49 And poor jesse still has to get through the shape-shifter.
00:06:50 (grunts) circle takes the square uncomfortably.
00:06:54 Aah!
00:06:56 Curse you, evil tiki god!
00:06:58 Jesse wedged in there upside down and-- oh! upended into the water.
00:07:04 Jesse finishing with a disappointing time of 9:21.
00:07:07 "The brady bunch" is in danger of being canceled.
00:07:10 I watch it every day at 4:30.
00:07:13 Yeah, it was canceled BACK IN THE '70s.
00:07:15 You're watching reruns.
00:07:15 well, that would explain the hair.
00:07:18 Mm-hmm.
00:07:18 Stick around, america.
00:07:20 Yep, when we return, a boatload more wipeouts coming your way.
00:08:26 ]At loved deal so we've madeeven bigger changes.
00:08:29 We've lowered the priceof every pizza on our menu.
00:08:31 Now a large pizza with up tothree of your favorite toppings is just ten bucks.
00:08:34 Or any medium specialty pizzais just ten bucks, too.
00:08:38 Only at your pizza hut.
00:08:40 is list.
00:08:41 The cost always makes mom freak.
00:08:43 Mommy.
00:08:45 Mom, the back to school list is here.
00:08:47 Looks expensive.
00:08:48 Graphing calculator, flash drive -- that was easy.
00:08:50 [ Male Announcer ] GET BACKTO SCHOOL AND Back to savings on everything on your listat staples.
00:08:56 me realized I could do the weight watchers plan entirely online.
00:08:59 My gosh, I was a total couch potato; I think I shared a blood supply with the couch.
00:09:02 One of the benefits of weight watchers online is that it's not only dealing with the food that I eat but it also deals with the exercise.
00:09:07 With the iphone app, you can keep track of points.
00:09:10 I can also journal my exercise while I'm out so that I can see what my budget for the day is.
00:09:14 I never thought I would look like this.
00:09:17 P[ Female Announcer ] JOIN NOWrAND GET ONE Month free.
00:09:20 Weight watchers online.
00:09:21 Finally, losing weight clicks.
00:09:23 ♪ ♪
00:10:27 ♪
00:10:30 " yeah, tonight we have a big surprise ending for you, people.
00:10:32 Mm-hmm.
00:10:35 Spoiler alert-- somebody is gonna walk away with $50,000.
00:10:39 Somebody wins $50,000 ery week.
00:10:42 Yeah, but this week it's somebody new.
00:10:44 Oh, well, in that case, let's get back to our qualifier.
00:10:47 Jill's down with our next contestant.
00:10:49 All right, guys, I'm down here with rob dickey.
00:10:51 Rob, welcome to our show.
00:10:52 Thank you.
00:10:53 So what special skills do you have?
00:10:53 Uh, numbers.
00:10:54 I'm really good at numbers.
00:10:57 Basically almost like a picture memory of--of numbers.
00:11:01 Really?
00:11:01 25, 6, 7, 4, 2, 1, 1, 1, 5.
00:11:03 15, 28, 1, 1, 8, 9, 2.
00:11:03 (John H.) HEY, IIAL SKILL. JOHN, WATCH.
00:11:09 (air horn blows) 6, 2, 7, 8, pi, "f," semicolon, ampersand.
00:11:12 So, uh, what is this guy's actual deal with numbers anyway?
00:11:15 He just likes 'em, john, thinks he's good with 'em.
00:11:16 (grunts) Oh!
00:11:18 slapstick comedy and a math whiz-- truly the lowest common denominator.
00:11:24 Well, let's see if he can count the number of jabs the sucker punch delivers.
00:11:26 One, two, three, four.
00:11:27 One, two, three, four.
00:11:29 (grunts) Oh!
00:11:31 Five.
00:11:31 Yeah, that wall is really kicking some math.
00:11:34 Our math is no doubt calculating his probability of getting over the big balls here.
00:11:39 Ow your work. oh!
00:11:40 Aah!
00:11:41 rob getting his numbers crunched.
00:11:42 Ooh! ow.
00:11:43 Now rob dickey's about to face a very simple problem-- it's the shake-a-lator.
00:11:46 On one side, off the other.
00:11:46 ! (grunts) and he's divided by that velvet rope.
00:11:52 ..
00:11:53 Oh!
00:11:53 But the shake-a-lator carries this remainder into the water.
00:11:55 (laughs) Our math whiz is up to the final obstacle--the shape-shifter.
00:12:00 Let's see how he is with geometry.
00:12:00 (grunts) Oh!
00:12:03 and it rings his bell curve.
00:12:06 A true math whiz knows you can take the hypotenuse of a triangle, divide it by a 10-mile-an-hour wind resistance, add a 15-degree jump angle and get the perfect trajectory to land on the final platform.
00:12:16 Rob's miscalculation-- he jumps straight down.
00:12:18 Still, ..
00:12:19 Ah. whoo!
00:12:21 A very coefficient run for our math wz.
00:12:23 Now back at the shake-a-lator, we have 23-year-old catherine thoma, who looks thrilled to be here.
00:12:28 !
00:12:29 Okay, maybe not, but she is excited to be representin'.
00:12:32 ♪ Single ladies ♪
00:12:32 catherine, basically, can I say that you want a boyfriend today?
00:12:36 Yeah, and if he's, like, 6-foot, tall, dark and handsome, if he likes to cook, ..
00:12:44 (John H.) WELL, AT LEAST SHE'S let's see if she goes for something mechanical, shaky and with ropes on it.
00:12:48 runts) AAH!
00:12:50 Oh!
00:12:50 Shake-a-lator immediately sweeps her off her feet.
00:12:53 And just like that, she's showg her clingy side.
00:12:54 Well, at least she's made a connection.
00:12:57 She's definitely heels over head.
00:12:58 Aah!
00:12:59 oh, the shake-a-lator wants to see other people.
00:13:02 It didn't take the shake-a-lator long to figure out it's just not th into her.
00:13:07 Catherine has one final shot at love, though, johnny-- it's the shape-shifter.
00:13:10 (boing) Aah!
00:13:12 Oh!
00:13:13 she gets denied one last time.
00:13:14 The shape-shifter tried ..
00:13:15 (ding) But uh-uh-oh, uh-uh-uh-oh.
00:13:17 Now approaching the shake-a-lator is david damiani.
00:13:22 Jill found out why he's a little gaga earlier.
00:13:24 David, what's something that no one knows about you?
00:13:27 um, my mother, for some reason, kept me sleeping in a crib since I was, like, 7 years old.
00:13:33 Yeah.
00:13:33 Wait a minute.
00:13:34 ..
00:13:36 Yeah.
00:13:37 Until you were 7?
00:13:39 Yeah. yeah.
00:13:39 (John H.) You think that's weird?
00:13:42 David wore diapers until he was 21.
00:13:42 Really?
00:13:44 No, but he's not up here to defend himself.
00:13:47 (grunts) Oh!
00:13:48 Let's see holong it takes big baby david to walk.
00:13:51 he's calling out for his mom, and he's only halfway through the shake-a-lator.
00:13:53 Maybe the shake-a-lator's rocking will lull him to sleep.
00:13:57 Or maybe that rope will give him diaper rash.
00:13:59 Oh!
00:14:00 Either way, our bouncing baby boy is getting burped by the shake-a-lator.
00:14:03 John, it looks like big baby david is hanging on to his childhood for as long as he can.
00:14:06 Oh! oh!
00:14:09 Sometimes you just gotta cut the cord, david.
00:14:10 Good advice.
00:14:13 Who else do we have on this john, who's that and where did he get that awesome t-shirt?
00:14:17 That's jahed khan, and he told jill all about that fancy shirt.
00:14:21 (bird chirps) Why isn't he moving?
00:14:24 I have no idea.
00:14:25 Where did you get that nice t-shirt you have ?
00:14:29, RIGHT.
00:14:30 So let me guess-- you wore this t-shirt, thinking that our big balls would be nice to you, huh?
00:14:33 I think soyes.
00:14:36 That's why they gave it to me.
00:14:36, YOU KNOW?
00:14:39 I'm the o-- SO LET'S PLUG ONE MORE TIME. (laughs) I'm--i'm the only one who got IT. SO, YOU KNOW?
00:14:48 OH,
00:14:49 (laughs) (John A.) JAHED Up to our big balls.
00:14:52 Well, let's see if he gets HALF AS MANY HITS AS
00:14:53 OH! (grunts) Oh!
00:14:56 we have to see that again.
00:14:59 OH! (grunts) Oh!
00:15:01 Oh! commercial break.
00:15:03 You know, john, he's not the only one advertising how hard the big balls are.
00:15:06 Aah!
00:15:08 Ooh! magically ball-icious.
00:15:09 Aah!
00:15:10 AAH! (grunts) WHOA!
00:15:11 Mm!
00:15:12 Oh!
00:15:12 He's cuckoo for big balls.
00:15:14 Aah!
00:15:15 (laughs) Whew!
00:15:16 The big balls give ..
00:15:17 AAH! (grunts) And keep on ticking.
00:15:21 Piece of cake.
00:15:21 I'll tell you what's not a piece of cake-- the shake-a-lator.
00:15:25 And rico curtis is about to find out why.
00:15:27 It says here he calls himself " ah, he's getting thunderstruck by the shake-a-lator.
00:15:31 Aah!
00:15:34 Ah.
00:15:35 Valiant effort.
00:15:35 Valiant effort indeed, jill, but "rolling thunder" rico curtis is gonna need more than that if he's gonna get by the toughest obstacle on the qualifier today.
00:15:44 Let's enjoy his effort on the shape-shifter.
00:15:47 (grunts) (boing) OH! (laughs) Oh! spectacular!
00:15:51 Oh! that is how you do it.
00:15:54 No kidding, jill.
00:15:55 Rolling thunder jumps right through that circle and lands on the final platform. unreal.
00:16:01 A remarkable ending to a very competitive run by rico, inspired and possibly because, as he told us, he has to beat our last ..
00:16:07 (grunts) Who also happens to be his wife rebecca.
00:16:12 Just between us, who do you think's gonna win?
00:16:15 I mean, i-i gotta hide the guns, you know what I mean?
00:16:18 But I think it's gonna, you know, it's gonna be me.
00:16:19 I want to know your special skill.
00:16:22 What sets you apart from the other contestants?
00:16:23 You're not even gonna see me.
00:16:24 I'm gonna go right through it.
00:16:27 I'm gonna win this thing, baby.
00:16:28 Rebecca's calling her shot, tjohn.
00:16:30 She's not only beating her husband, at this point, she's got one of the fastest runs of the day.
00:16:33 Aah!
00:16:35 Oh!
00:16:35 now that's gonna be a hit to the time, but she's still looking lightning quick.
00:16:39 Oof!
00:16:41 "Oof" is a good word, ..
00:16:43 Aah!
00:16:43 " "lightning" curtis amping it up here.
00:16:47 Aah!
00:16:47 Makes it over the second set she's sure taking the shake-a-lator to school, johnny.
00:16:51 Her husband was the only person to make it through the shape-shifter.
00:16:57 I thinkshe'sgot what it takes to be the only person to get across the shake-a-lator.
00:17:00 There's only one way to find out, john.
00:17:03 Here she goes.
00:17:04 Aah!
00:17:05 Oh!
00:17:05 well, I also thought my first marriage was gonna make it.
00:17:07 Aah!
00:17:09 Lightning's up to the shape-shifter.
00:17:11 Let's see if the curtises can strike twice.
00:17:13 (boing) Oh, she made it into the square, john.
00:17:17 If she can just right herself ..
00:17:18 Aah!
00:17:20 (John A. and John H.) OHH!
00:17:20 Oh! that was so close.
00:17:23 Rebecca with a good jump, but the square grounds this lightning bolt to the short circuit.
00:17:27 But rebecca still finishes ..
00:17:28 Whoo!
00:17:31 28, Which is third fastest of the day, so both she and her husband will be moving on.
00:17:35 Also advancing-- rock star eli gurian, lifeguard tiffany garcia and math whiz rob dickey.
00:17:41 Also joining them will be single lady catherine thoma, big baby david damiani and jahed "abc-dot" khan.
00:17:47 Stick arou, america, ..
00:17:49 Aah!
00:17:49 Our contestants better watch their backs.
00:17:52 It's the double cross.
00:17:57 spade?
00:17:57 ..
00:17:58 Wait,are you the baby?
00:18:00 Ha, ha, ha!
00:18:01 7Up's new crisp, clean taste can make anyone feel ridiculously bubbly. whoa, ha, ha.
00:18:06 Hey, where do you want me to stick these?
00:18:08 By the fire place, of course!
00:18:09 What a great backyard, huh?
00:18:12 Why yes, perfect for barbecues.
00:18:14 7Up, a new taste so crisp andclean, it's ridiculous.
00:18:19 You want me to shove it?
00:18:19 Ok, let's wrap this up guys, it's wearing off.
00:18:24 It's our honeymoon.
00:18:25 But we've parted ways with our old airline credit card that promised flights for 25,000 miles.
00:18:29 IT WAS ALWAYS... [ laughing ] That seat's not happening without a big miles upcharge.
00:18:34 A miles upcharge wasn't part of the deal.
00:18:36 Was I supposed to go without my wife?
00:18:38 [ elevator bell dings ] [ grunting ] Haha, that was awkward.
00:18:41 SO WE UPGRADED TO THE Venture Card FROM Capital One.
00:18:44 We've had it with the games.
00:18:45 [ Male Announcer ] DON'T PAY MILES UPCHARGES.
00:18:47 Don't play games.
00:18:48 Get the flight you want WITH THE Venture Card AT
00:18:51 What's in your wallet?
00:19:25 this.
00:19:25 ♪
00:19:46 it's a pretty big deal.
00:20:10 ♪♪
00:20:11 I thought it was over here...
00:20:18 ♪♪
00:21:08 ct be curD AFTER THE QUALIFIER, We're down to 12.
00:21:24 Who's left, john?
00:21:26 Allow me to tell you.
00:21:27 We have the human pretzel, amber bronder, vegan kimberly dreher and the math whiz, rob dickey.
00:21:33 We also have single lady catherine thoma, and our married couple-- thunder and lightning, rico and rebecca curtis.
00:21:38 Johnny, be quiet for a second.
00:21:39 I'm not talking.
00:21:41 Do you hear that?
00:21:41 No.
00:21:43 It's the calm before the storm, the drumroll before fonzie jumps the shark, the beating of my heart before I fall in love with the double cross all over again.
00:21:51 And you know how love hurts.
00:21:53 Here's how the double cross works.
00:21:55 Our 12 contestants begin on a 10-foot-high platform as four planks move around and around.
00:22:00 Contestants must jump on to one of the green planks to start, then use the one rlank to get to the unstable table on the other side.
00:22:06 But look out, because in their ..
00:22:09 Aah!
00:22:09 Swinging around in the opposite direction.
00:22:11 If contestants wipeout, they have to start the whole thing all over again.
00:22:14 they are ready to get crossways.
00:22:17 So let's get started.
00:22:18 (cheering) Let's do this.
00:22:19 Single lady hitting on rico "thunder" curtis, who's married.
00:22:23 Hey, single lady, maybe you'd have a better chance with single guys.
00:22:28 Well, the double cross is underway, and here they go.
00:22:31 Oh!
00:22:31 two get crossed off immediately.
00:22:34 Big baby david gets spanked.
00:22:34 Oh!
00:22:36 Ooh!
00:22:36 And then sent to his room.
00:22:37 (grunts) That'll stunt your growth.
00:22:39 (grunts) (woman) GO, ELI!
00:22:41 Eli's on, and our rock star seems to have his own cheeng section.
00:22:43 Well, that's what happens when you're a rock star.
00:22:47 Now the fans rush the stage after him and then take stage dives.
00:22:50 Aah!
00:22:51 But our rock star's off to that finish spot.
00:22:52 Aah!
00:22:54 Oh!
00:22:54 eli's a rolling stone who can't get no satisfaction.
00:22:58 Jumping jack splash.
00:22:58 Oh!
00:22:59 Oh!
00:22:59 Our double cross getting cross with the contestants.
00:23:02 Aah!
00:23:02 The lifeguard goes in the deep end, and our single lady gets dumped.
00:23:06 Rob the math whiz travels the radius of our circle.
00:23:09 Ooh!
00:23:09 Ooh! our vegan gets squashed.
00:23:12 Math whiz is up,ooking to take that number one spot.
00:23:15 Computes the proper vector and, yes!
00:23:17 Yeah! whoo!
00:23:18 His calculations are correct, and our math whiz is the first contestant moving on.
00:23:20 That leaves five spots.
00:23:23 Big baby david leaves the training wheels behind as he makes it to the center and straight to the finish.
00:23:27 (Jill) WAY TO GO!
00:23:29 He's moving on as well.
00:23:29 They grow up so quickly, john.
00:23:32 With big baby david claiming ..
00:23:33 Aah!
00:23:35 Only four remain.
00:23:35 But lightning rebecca and the rock star are on, and our rock star has definite staying power ..
00:23:41 (grunts) Down the red plank and--oh!
00:23:43 Oh, no!
00:23:44 Our rock star has no sense of rhythm.
00:23:46 (grunts) That platform tips every nine seconds, and you gotta time iright.
00:23:49 We still have the four spots open.
00:23:52 I see you, babe.
00:23:52 !
00:23:53 Thunder rumbling some cheers for his wife, ..
00:23:56 Oh!
00:23:57 But no good.
00:23:57 Vegan gets hit by the sweeper arm, but is holding on like bacon wrapped around a filet.
00:24:00 Not that she would know what that deliciousness is like.
00:24:03 And our rock star has once again made it to center stage.
00:24:08 (Kimberly) AAH!
00:24:08 What was that?
00:24:09 Jahed "abc-dot" khan jumps our vegan and scares her off faster than you can say "haggis," just as the bar sends "abc-dot" khan into the water-backslash- starting platform.
00:24:20 Still four spots left, and our rock star's a stone's throw away from the finish platform, and eli advances.
00:24:25 Come on!
00:24:26 And he will, he will rock us in the next round.
00:24:29 (Jill) ALL RIGHT, LADIES.
00:24:30 (woman) WE'RE TRYING.
00:24:31 (woman) I'M TRYING HERE.
00:24:31 I'm trying.
00:24:32 (John H.) GOOD POINT, JILL. ALL The guys are moving on so far.
00:24:35 The girls need to step it up.
00:24:35 Hi.
00:24:36 And our single lady has made it to the middle.
00:24:37 How you doin'?
00:24:40 And there she goes again, just hitting on the married man.
00:24:42 it never works out for the other woman.
00:24:45 ..
00:24:45 Mm-hmm.
00:24:47 So she's on her way to break up the affair.
00:24:48 Then again, lightning always follows thunder.
00:24:49 Other way around, john, but thunder's up and rumbling down that red plank.
00:24:52 Aah!
00:24:54 double cross stole his thunder.
00:24:54 Our single lady finally coming ..
00:24:58 Aah!
00:24:58 And--ooh! rejected.
00:25:00 Oh!
00:25:00 Ooh.
00:25:02 Amber, the human pretzel, wraps herself around the bar and making her way to the middle.
00:25:06 Now the lifeguard is on the bar.
00:25:06 What is it with these ladies riding the pole?
00:25:09 (filtered voice) ALL LADIES To the center stage.
00:25:10 Rebecca's lining up that red plank.
00:25:13 Oh!
00:25:14 (normal voice) OH! WOWIE!
00:25:15 The platform catches lightning in a bottle.
00:25:16 (grunts) Well, we still have three spots open.
00:25:21 Human pretzel headed for that finish.
00:25:21 Oh!
00:25:23 Oh! gets hit by the bar.
00:25:24 Whoa!
00:25:24 Oh!
00:25:25 Sh--my god!
00:25:26 "Sh--my god" is right.
00:25:26 With one fell swoop, the sweeper arm takes out the lifeguard and the human pretzel.
00:25:30 Have I mentioned three spots open? lightning at it again.
00:25:35 Oh, bit of a st-- she's made it to the middle.
00:25:37 Lifeguard right behind her.
00:25:39 Single lady's made it again as well.
00:25:41 Lightning is up, and the lifeguard is trailing behind.
00:25:43 (Rebecca) Got it! got it! got it!
00:25:45 lightning has made it to the finish spot.
00:25:48 Lifeguard's gotta get off that table before it tips.
00:25:49 Aah!
00:25:51 Oh!
00:25:51 Oh, my god.
00:25:52 Oh! amazing!
00:25:52 That fills two of our spots, leaving one question left unanswered-- who will be the last contestant moving on?
00:25:57 Thunder makes a move and rendezvous with our single lady.
00:26:00 Come on, baby.
00:26:01 His better half either trying to help him remember his marriage vows or trying to get him to the next round.
00:26:04 But single lady ending the affair.
00:26:07 Oh! she needs to hurry.
00:26:08 Please don't tip me. aah!
00:26:09 And she has made it to the finish and claims that final spot.
00:26:11 You're definitely gonna get a boyfriend now.
00:26:15 I hope so!
00:26:15 And with that, we have our final six.
00:26:18 Among them are math whiz rob dickey, big baby david damiani, rock star eli gurian, rebecca "lightning" curtis, lifeguard tiffany garcia and single lady catherine thoma.
00:26:28 I hope they're hungry, because we are about ..
00:26:30 Aah!
00:26:32 That is sure to end with a lot of heartburn.
00:26:36 ♪
00:26:37 ♪ look like an angel ♪
00:26:38 [ grunting ] ♪ WALK LIKE AN ANGEL ♪
00:26:40 ♪ Walk like an angel ♪
00:26:42 [ laughs ] ♪ Talk like an angel ♪
00:26:45 ♪ but I got wise ♪
00:26:48 [ grunting ] ♪ YOU'RE THE DEVIL IN DISGUISE ♪
00:26:50 [ Male Announcer ] WE PUT IT THROUGH ..
00:26:54 So it'll stand up to just about anything.
00:26:58 The nissan altima.
00:26:59 Innovation that lasts. innovation for all.
00:27:03 ♪ ♪
00:27:35 hats?
00:27:36 I could wear hats, if I partookin hat type things (birds chirping) Like strolling in an orchard ♪
00:27:47 Is this my husband?
00:27:48 Awesome Cool hat, Mom Oh my perfect kids Alright Fourteen Ninety Nine I totally wear hats ♪
00:28:05 ♪
00:28:08 [ beep ] ♪ ♪
00:28:10 [ beep ] [ beep ] ♪ ♪
00:28:16 [ beep ] [ Male Announcer ]FIND AN ITALIAN MASTERPIECE In your grocer's freezer.
00:28:21 New from buitoni.
00:28:21 Shrimp and lobster ravioli with garlic butter sauce.
00:28:24 Simple ingredients, artfully prepared.
00:28:27 Buitoni.create an italian masterpiece.
00:28:30 Discover morebuitoni masterpieces in the freezer section.
00:30:07 Welcome back.
00:30:07 We are pleased to have you ..
00:30:09 Providing you with your rommended daily dose of calcium, iron, vitamin d and wipeouts.
00:30:15 After double crossing six contestants off our list, we are left with 6 stalwarts gunning for our $50,000 prize.
00:30:21 ..
00:30:22 Math whiz rob dickey, big baby david damiani, rock star eli gurian, rebecca "lightning" curtis, lifeguard tiffany garcia and single lady catherine thoma.
00:30:33 Of those six, only four can move on to the wipeout zone.
00:30:36 What you got there, johnny?
00:30:36 Oh, uh, this is a brand-new "wipeout" cookbook.
00:30:39 I thought I'd whip up something at lunch, you know, in our brand-new "wipeout" cafeteria.
00:30:42 You mean cafeteria spinner?
00:30:44 Yeah, it's more of a lazy susan thing, huh?
00:30:47 Okay, well, they'll have to stay on this "lazy susan" as long as possible.
00:30:51 Contestants must jump over this bar every time it swings around.
00:30:55 If they go under the bar ..
00:30:56 Aah!
00:30:57 They're out of the round.
00:30:58 In addition, contestants can grab for this brass ring, and earn a $1,000 bonus.
00:31:01 (bell tinkles, cash register dings) But, john, it won't be easy, because serving lunch today are my personal chefs, and they specialize in a low-fat, high-impact diet.
00:31:09 Four rounds.
00:31:11 The last person standing in each round moves on to the wipeout zone.
00:31:13 Hey, you know, I got a nice dessert recipe right here.
00:31:17 It's a, uh, pound cake " see, I thought " oh, I didn't even think of that.
00:31:23 Mm-hmm.
00:31:23 Well, let's grab a tray.
00:31:25 The line has formed at the cafeteria.
00:31:27 Math whiz trying hard to calculate his odds of making it to the wipeout zone, and big baby david looks ready to be fed like a baby bird.
00:31:32 John, I think he has his eye on that $1,000 ring.
00:31:37 (ding) Well, we'll find out if he's able to buy a warmer for his baby wipes, because here we go!
00:31:41 (bell rings) Aah!
00:31:43 ..
00:31:45 Whoo-hoo!
00:31:46 Whoa!
00:31:46 ..
00:31:47 Big baby david straight for that 100 bucks, but he sacrificed his chances of winning this round.
00:31:49 Yeah, john, it's like he was ptrying to jump out of his crib.
00:31:54 Wah!
00:31:55 Snagged the ring, but then the spinner puts him in time-out.
00:31:57 Whoo-hoo!
00:31:59 John, that leaves our five grown-up contestants to battle it out under a hailstorm of italian delights.
00:32:02 (Tiffany grunts) ..
00:32:05 Terribly.
00:32:06 No!
00:32:08 The trifecta-- the lifeguard in the pool, rock star down in the quarry, and our single lady just following a man. this is sad.
00:32:14 Oh. nice.
00:32:16 ..
00:32:17 Oh!
00:32:18 Of getting pummeled.
00:32:18 Ohh! was that a watermelon?
00:32:21 Not sure, jill, but the math whiz is feeling it, and here comes a pizza projectile.
00:32:25 Aah!
00:32:27 Yuck!
00:32:27 Finally math whiz gets pied, but it's lightning rebecca curtis who's down and out.
00:32:32 That means our math whiz wins a free trip to the wipeout zone, and all the cabbage and sausage he can eat.
00:32:35 Yeah!
00:32:37 This is not the most sanitary event.
00:32:38 one of our chefs isn't even wearing pants, which as you know, is the way I like to cook at home.
00:32:46 I'm telling ya, you gotta come over.
00:32:47 All right, guys, we're serving up round two. yummy!
00:32:50 Well, jill, round one was culinary chaos, but now that our contestants have a taste of the event and there's no $1,000 distraction, this is gonna be an all-out food fight, to see which of these five stays on the longest.
00:33:00 (bell rings) Here they go.
00:33:05 (woman) AAH!
00:33:06 Gadzooks!
00:33:06 Wow!
00:33:08 Oh!
00:33:09 (Jill) OH! OH!
00:33:09 Oh!
00:33:10 Oh, my god. what happened?
00:33:11 Our chef serving up mean cuisine.
00:33:13 (Tiffany) WAIT. WHO MADE IT?
00:33:14 ..
00:33:16 What was that?
00:33:16 Or what hit 'em.
00:33:19 Let's take a look.
00:33:20 The big love came from the most beautiful dollop of ketchup I have ever seen.
00:33:27 (choir) ♪ AH ♪
00:33:31 ♪ Ah ♪
00:33:33 (man) OH!
00:33:33 Now that's an attack of a killer tomato.
00:33:36 (video rewinds) I have gotta see that again.
00:33:40 (man) OH!
00:33:41 5-Contestant wipeout, and a closer look shows rebecca "lightning" curtis still strong without her thunder.
00:33:47 She'll be the second to advance to the wipeout zone.
00:33:50 All righ guys, we're cooking up round three.
00:33:52 Yeah, that sauce is just rancid.
00:33:53 Aw, no one likes to see the single lady suffer like this.
00:33:58 Well, maybe the woman whose husband she hit on.
00:33:59 (bell rings) Oh, god!
00:34:00 Singleady getting treated to a ltle fast-food date, ..
00:34:05 Head of lettuce.
00:34:07 Not anymore.
00:34:08 (spits) Lifeguard submarined by a wad of dough, sliding in a sea of spaghetti.
00:34:13 Oh! aah!
00:34:15 Arrivederci.
00:34:15 Ciao,bella.
00:34:17 Rock star getting stoned with globs of dough, but he's making it over the bar, and he'll win it .. can't.
00:34:22 Oh!
00:34:24 (Catherine) AAH! OH, MY GOD!
00:34:25 Sayonara, single lady.
00:34:26 And big baby david is diaper-creamed, and that sends eli the rock star swimming his way into the wipeout zone.
00:34:32 Well, john, with one spot left, big baby david might be kicking himself for going after that $1,000 ring.
00:34:37 He's in the last round with a better chance of getting out of his crib than making it to the wipeout zone.
00:34:43 All right, guys, the food's getting cold, so round four has begun.
00:34:47 (Jill) You guys like seafood?
00:34:49 No, I hate seafood.
00:34:51 Too bad.
00:34:51 (John A. laughs) (John H.) WOW.
00:34:53 Holy mackerel.
00:34:54 Is there fish?
00:34:54 Yeah, a huge one.
00:34:55 Are you kidding?
00:34:56 Oh, johnny, are they in for a surprise.
00:34:59 (bell rings) This is the final round.
00:35:01 And wait till you see what drops in.
00:35:04 The lunch lady.
00:35:04 Ah.
00:35:05 John, that's our "wipeout" cafeteria lady, and she--he's brought some very slippery clam chowder to serve up.
00:35:10 Aah!
00:35:11 That fish must have been a red herring, because I did not see her--him showing up.
00:35:13 Well, obviously the lunch lady is more skilled ..
00:35:18 Oh, my god! oh!
00:35:19 But she--he's got tiffany the lifeguard in trouble.
00:35:21 Tiffany back up now, but it is raining pizzas again.
00:35:24 Big baby david confidently taking a bite.
00:35:26 (laughs) He's paying the price.
00:35:27 and now the fish are flying.
00:35:28 (contestants scream) Fish? no!
00:35:32 Oh!
00:35:34 (laughing) Big baby david is down.
00:35:36 He's definitely not getting pampered.
00:35:37 (woman shouts indiinctly) Oh, and the lunch lady's back, and she--he's got a handful of spaghetti.
00:35:41 Oh! oh, no!
00:35:43 Tiffany the lifeguard ..
00:35:44 No!
00:35:46 And she's beached.
00:35:47 Carpe diem-- either big baby david or our single lady need to seize the one spot left in the wipeout zone.
00:35:53 That's just gotta be one overtired baby, but he's made it over the bar.
00:35:56 Aah!
00:35:57 Single lady's down-- not just desperate, but desperately trying to hang on.
00:36:01 (contestants cheering) Oh!
00:36:03 Not gonna save it.
00:36:04 Single's out.
00:36:04 That's good news for lightning, and even better for big baby david.
00:36:08 He's one baby step closer to $50,000.
00:36:11 Get him to the changing table.
00:36:13 (contestants laughing) Johnny, I got my eye on a little surf and turf action.
00:36:17 I'm gonna leave it up to you to do the leaderboard.
00:36:18 Oh! all right! yay!
00:36:20 And with that, we are down to our final four.
00:36:23 They are rebecca "lightning" curtis, big baby david damiani, math whiz rob dickey and rock star eli gurian.
00:36:29 Stick around, because they'll all be staring down the wipeout zone soon, and a shot of winning $50,000.
00:36:33 Oh!
00:36:36 Oh! ooh!
00:36:39 hip-hop.
00:36:39 star.
00:36:39 [ Man #2 ] COME ON, SON. YOU'LL NEVER BE Like your dad.
00:36:42 [ exhales sharply ] [ horns honking ] ♪ ♪
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00:41:57 She,0 no it begins here at the dreadmill launch, where contestants free-fall 40 feet and bounce into arctic-like waters.
00:42:05 Then it's a short swim over to the gut busters, where they'll have to crawl up these blocks, through the hoop and across to the other side.
00:42:10 After enduring that pounding, our contestants move on to our flight of sinistairs.
00:42:16 They have to climb to the top of a spinning spiral staircase of trouble without being taken down by two ruthless sweeper arms finally, our finest four will have to make their way through the gauntlet.
00:42:26 The crankshaft winds it up, followed by the fearsome looking blades of fury, then across the bruising beater totter and through the hoop to the finish platform.
00:42:33 Four contestants remain, and the one with the best time goes home $50,000 richer.
00:42:37 Up first, rebecca curtis, who's hoping to storm through the wipeout zone.
00:42:40 Rebecca "lightning" curtis struck twice in the qualifier and the double cross, but left her thunder behind when she went on to the food fight.
00:42:49 We'll see if one curtis in the zone is enough to bring home the money.
00:42:51 Rebecca is up top, the dreadmill launch sequence ..
00:42:54 (whirring) ..
00:42:57 (clock beeps) ..
00:43:00 Oh!
00:43:00 Crashing ..
00:43:01 (screams and grunts) And dropping 40 feet into the waters of the wipeout zone.
00:43:04 Yeah, it's key to get a lot of ..
00:43:05 Oh!
00:43:07 And rebecca gets good distance off the bounce.
00:43:08 Oh!
00:43:10 She's now up to the gut busters.
00:43:11 These take speed and daring, john.
00:43:12 That hoop tonight xis gonna make it even more difficult.
00:43:16 the hoop almost making her fall right there.
00:43:19 does she have the strength here? oh!
00:43:23 Oh!
00:43:23 She grabs on to that hoop, but that block drops out from beneath her.
00:43:26 Oh!
00:43:28 Lightning crashes down into that water below.
00:43:30 Rebecca returning to the gut busters now for her second opportunity.
00:43:33 (grunts) Right through the hoop.
00:43:35 No problem.
00:43:35 Oh!
00:43:37 Oh, a slip backwards.
00:43:37 Oh! yeah.
00:43:39 She's going down again.
00:43:40 John, she just didn't have her balance on the block, fell backwards and didn't have the arm strength to hang on.
00:43:46 Back for a third run on these gut busters.
00:43:48 She's quickly getting back up for a face-off with that dreaded hoop.
00:43:51 Diving through, though.
00:43:53 Mm.
00:43:53 No fear.
00:43:55 Braced on the block.
00:43:55 Aah!
00:43:56 took a punishi hit, but managed to hang on and avoid another disaster there.
00:44:01 And she's across.
00:44:03 Now she is finally off to confront the sinistairs.
00:44:06 She's gonna need to be clean the rest of the way to set a strong time to beat.
00:44:10 and our only woman manning up for the sistair run.
00:44:11 (grunts) I love it.
00:44:14 Avoids that sweeper arm.
00:44:15 Rebecca going into overdrive, pushing her way to the top.
00:44:19 A stellar run up those stairs.
00:44:21 (laughs) YEAH, THEY CALL HER Lightning for a reason.
00:44:23 Hits that platform at 5:45.
00:44:24 Great shape now at the gauntlet.
00:44:27 First up is that crankshaft.
00:44:28 It's an easy pattern, but really tricky to negotiate.
00:44:31 She sprints.
00:44:31 Aah!
00:44:33 Oh!
00:44:33 Ohh.
00:44:33 We'll look at that again, john.
00:44:34 Yeah, the crankshaft takes ttiming and patience.
00:44:38 Speed is not the answer.
00:44:38 Oh!
00:44:40 And that is a hard-learned lesson for rebecca.
00:44:42 Her second shot at the crankshaft.
00:44:44 She crosses.
00:44:44 Now faces the blades of fury.
00:44:48 Slashing through both sets with ease.
00:44:50 And now on to that brutal beater totter.
00:44:51 Not easy.
00:44:54 Oh, another hoop.
00:44:54 45, fighting exhaustion ..
00:44:55 Ohh!
00:44:58 Holding on to that ring, the totteradding to the difficulty.
00:45:01 Wo she is showing a lot of grit and determination.
00:45:02 (grunts) She wants that $50,000, john.
00:45:07 Oh!, a perfect flip through.
00:45:09 That's really impressive.
00:45:09 Oh!
00:45:11 So close to the edge, but so far from finishing.
00:45:13 Pulling herself ever closer to the end.
00:45:16 Setting up, and a powerful leap across.
00:45:18 (grunts) She's on and she is up.
00:45:21 Yeah!
00:45:22 "Wipeout," I got you!
00:45:24 11 seconds, rebecca sets a great time to beat.
00:45:27 And now david damiani is hoping to take her down.
00:45:31 Big baby david damiani ..
00:45:32 Aah!
00:45:34 On the qualifier, it his stride in the double cross.
00:45:38 The food fight made him cranky, and it took him all four rounds, but he made it to the wipeout zone.
00:45:43 David is up on the dreadmill.
00:45:44 The launch sequence a go.
00:45:46 Dreadmill armed,
00:00:00 To join us next week, when we will have 24 new contestants taking on even crazier new obstacles, and, of course, to of wipeouts.
00:00:07 and for our colleague jill wagner, I'm john henson, saying goodnight and big balls ♪
00:00:15 aah!
00:00:15 Captioned byClos Captioning Services, Inc.
00:00:19 ♪
00:00:21 aah!
00:00:23 (thud) (thud, squeak) AAH! (boing) (grunts) (boing, thud) (crunch) (smack) (woman) AAH!
00:00:38 (thud, smack) Ah!
00:00:41 (boing) Aah!
00:00:43 Ooh! aah! whoa!
00:00:46 (mutters) (John H.) It's that time, america!
00:00:57 (man and woman) AAH!
00:00:57 What goes up must wipeout.
00:00:59 (grunts) OH!
00:00:59 OH! (laughs) (John A.) And wipeout they will, as 12 families--

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Matthew A. Staccone obit

Staccone, Matthew A. SCHENECTADY
Matthew A. Staccone died suddenly on Monday, December 27, 2010. Matt was born in Rochester, N.Y. to Rose Ingutti Staccone and Anthony Staccone. He attended Bishop Kearney High School and graduated from SUNY Albany with a degree in economics. He was employed as a senior business advisor for the Small Business and Development Center at SUNY Albany. Although tempted by retirement, Matt loved his job for he was a social man who truly liked people. Matt also enjoyed giving back to the community. He happily served as president of the board of directors for Habitat for Humanity in Schenectady County. An active member of the Schenectady Curling Club; he rarely passed up an opportunity to volunteer: ever willing to lend a hand wherever he was needed. Matt was diverse in his interests: Nascar, vegetable gardening, biking and golf - at all of which he "excelled", of course. Matt is survived by his wife of 25 years, Mary Printsky and his beloved children, Anthony and Caroline Staccone. Matt was immensely proud of their accomplishments. Friends and acquaintances were often treated to many details of their lives. Matt is also survived by his mother, Rose Staccone; his beloved twin brother, Thomas (Barbara) Staccone and his sister, Mary Beth (Jim) Mateer, all of Rochester, N.Y. Erik, Sam, Chris and Tim will miss his constant advice. Matt was predeceased by his father, Tony Staccone, the man who taught Matt the true meaning of fatherhood. Funeral service Friday morning 8:15 from the Daly Funeral Home, Inc., 242 McClellan St., Schenectady and 9:00 at St. Helen's Church where a Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated. Calling hours Thursday afternoon 4:00 to 8:00 in the evening at the funeral home. Interment St. Mary's Cemetery, Ft. Johnson. If desired, donations may be made to Habitat for Humanity, PO Box 9043, Schenectady, NY 12309. The family requests your prayers. Online condolences may be expressed at [] Published in Albany Times Union on December 30, 2010